ALC probed for pit clarity

Some Coldstream politicians are trying to dig up answers on how much longer the Rosebush gravel pit will be in operation

Unsatisfied with the reclamation rate, some Coldstream politicians are trying to dig up answers on how much longer the Rosebush gravel pit will be in operation.

“It looks like we still seem to be going backwards in terms of the reclamation and mining amount,” said Coun. Richard Enns of the Lavington work (between Highway 6 and Buchanan Road).

But according to reports, reclamation is on schedule, and will be aided by top soil from the Highway 6 realignment project.

As the gravel is extracted, clean quality fill is brought into the pit to bring it back up to grade and then topped with native topsoil. The purpose, as the ranch has previously stated, is to increase the agricultural capability of the land.

The ranch has also previously stated that work could wrap up within the next six to 10 years in the area.

Still, Coun. Maria Besso wants clarification from the Agricultural Land Commission, which authorizes the mining and reclamation, on an end date.

“The residents that are living in that area are living with a mine in their front yard and they want to know how long that will be,” said Besso.

Sun-Rype sludge

Concerns that sludge being spread over a Coldstream farm could contaminate local water are being refuted.

Earlier this spring, some residents raised issue with biosolids being spread on Coldstream Ranch fields due to caution signs posted near the fields.

Their primary concern, said Coun. Maria Besso, was, “that then it would get into the creek and then it would get into the lake.”

According to Summit Environmental Consultants’ senior environmentalist Rob Kupchanko, the sludge does not include domestic sewage. He says carton breakage or spoilings at the Sun-Rype plant are stored as waste juice and removed for periodic land application.

“I was very happy to finally see this come forward,” said Besso.

But considering the issue was raised in the spring, she isn’t satisfied with how long it took staff to get a response. Staff defends that a heavy workload is what prevented the information from coming forward sooner.